readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March: Has medicine saved your life?

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

I love this response from Mary that she dropped in the rgz MySpace group forum. Here it is for everyone to enjoy. Has medicine saved your life?

"Hi Dia! As you well know it takes a long time to write a book and Jenna Fox took me over two years to write so in the course of this time a lot of inspirations and ideas jump on board, but two of the triggering questions that got it going were "How far would a parent go to save their child?" and also, "How far will medicine advance in fifty years?"

I asked myself both of these questions when my daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. We were very fortunate that medicine and technology had advanced far enough that her life was saved, but just fifty years earlier she would have died from it. So it was quite natural to wonder where medicine and technology might be in another fifty years.

And wondering is what drives most authors isn’t it? And then in the course of writing, I wondered more things! Like, will something like the soul which is so faith-based, ever be addressed by science? Or are there some things that will always be unexplainable?

I also wanted to explore "hyper-parenting" because now as we have more and more "miracle" children, I wondered about the pressures that might put on a child.

I like exploring gray areas in my writing--things that have no clear cut answers or present dilemmas--or at least for me they are! I am sure some people view these situations differently and that is what makes books and reading and opinions all so fascinating."

~Lorie Ann


holly cupala said...

This is so fascinating to me. I listened to the Midwest Audio version of Jenna Fox on CD, and there was an interview at the end with Mary, who addressed these very things. How amazing, that we as humans can take hardship and pain and turn it into art and hope. I loved this book and loved it even more when I heard the story behind it.

Justina Chen said...

I thought it was so apropos that Holly was the first to comment on this post since she has done exactly this: "take hardship and pain and turn it into at and hope."

One of the best parts of being a writer is to wonder as Mary did and then to speculate and then to create.

Mary, I hope your daughter is okay now. What a beautiful testament to her--a book.

And I am very glad that you took on hyperparenting. We need that as a separate conversation topic!

Little Willow said...

It may have, as a newborn: I was born two months early, and I had to be observed and handled with care at that time. I don't know if medicine came into play, or simply that care. In any event, I think that had a lot to do with my sheer will, even then!

readergirlz said...
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Lorie Ann Grover said...

LW was a preemie!

Medicine has kept me from deforming from arthritis. And saved my life from cancer! Yes, for me! And I am thankful. :~)

Melissa Walker said...

What an interesting back story! I love the wondering mind of writers.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I had my sound turned down on my computer before so I didn't hear the playlist from Jenna ; ) Go, Sarah M!

You know, the one thing I found after Jenna came out was that so many people had their own stories of pain, and loss--and hope.

I love it how books can open us up to share and we see that others have been on similar journeys to our own.

Yes, Justina, my daughter--both of my daughters actually--are okay now. (my other daughter was diagnosed with same illness about 3/4 of the way into writing the book) I will always be grateful to researchers, who fifty years ago didn't know what fruit their work might bear but they stuck to it anyway. Some of that fruit is the joy of being able to hug my daughters today.

Dia Calhoun said...

I would have been dead at fifteen from appendicitis if it weren't for modern medicine. I can't imagine that.

Silvia said...

Me no, but my mother became ill one night when she was 5. She was in her bed and started to blow her nose because she thought she had a cold but then she reaslised it was blood and it wasn't stopping so they called an anbulance. The doctors said her body was very srong because she could have bled to death.
The strange thing was that she told me that this happened to my granpa (her father) at the same age.

It isn't about medicine but I just remembered reading this post.

Molz614 said...

Fascinating story.
And yes medicine truly has saved my life, I should have died when I was 20 months old and was given 4-6 weeks to live, and I'm still here almost 18 years later...

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